Return Fire 2
Remember Return Fire 1? It was the only decent game on the ill-fated 3DO system, period. A splitscreen, two-player, strategy-action fest which married the worlds of lucid arcade simplicity (previously the exclusive domain of brightly-coloured cabinets aimed at slack-jawed vandals) with wargame-a-licious strategic elements (previously the exclusive domain of fat, bearded social outcasts with ruddy cheeks and thighs like immense, clammy rolls of dough), and with a rousing orchestral score to boot. It could've been as big as Command and Conquer.
Could've been. But it came too late to save the 3D0, and by the time it made the conversion to our beloved PC format, the accursed thing was yesterday's news. Now welcome to the present day... and say a big 'aloha' to Return Fire II, the game EA's PR department are crassly describing as "more fun than a Middle East conflict". Presumably, the game is set to feature remarkably less genuine horror and suffering than the real 1991 Gulf War, in which tens of thousands of fellow human beings lost their lives. Nevertheless, the underlying concept remains the same as the original game: you've got a military base, and so have your mates. To win, simply infiltrate their premises, steal a flag, then return home with a big cheesy grin on your face, punching the air and humming the tune to Tina Turner's Simply the Best. Naturally, your enemies won't take this lying down - besides, they're after your flag, too - so before long you'll find yourself frantically switching between offensive strikes and defensive manoeuvring.
The original game centred around Jeeps and helicopters; times change, and Return Fire II provides a far healthier range of military vehicles. Alongside the choppers and Jeeps are tanks, aircraft carriers, boats and jets, all laden with new weaponry, including user-friendly mines and missiles. Enough to keep Robin Cook answering awkward Sierra Leone-style questions until the end of time.
Environmental changes are also afoot: the game will feature a diverse range of locations, from snowy wastes to tropical jungles, each replete with its own set of changeable weather conditions. And there's a level that looks a bit like Bamsley. There's also a choice of viewpoints: either the traditional 'chase' view (with the roving camera), or a new first-person Quake-o-rama mode. Either way, the screen will be overflowing with all the 3D-accelerated graphics, fancy explosions and twinkly lighting effects we've come to expect in recent months.
What's that, Sooty? How many missions are there? Why, there are more than 50 of them, you know! Multi-player options? Of course! Up to 16 people can join in at once! Sorry, Sooty - what was that? Yes, I did wash my hands this morning. Nmm? Did you say something else? Oh, yes. It'll be out in July, apparently. And stop waving that wand in my face. It might go off.
Download Return Fire 2
PC compatible, P-100
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
2019-02-07 Return Fire 2 game added.